tv With All Due Respect Bloomberg August 4, 2016 5:00pm-6:01pm EDT
seriously. cdc experts are working shoulder to shoulder with florida health authorities. there's a very aggressive effort underway to control mosquitoes there, and pregnant women have been we will keep working as one team to slow the spread of the virus. i want to be clear, though. our public health experts do not expect to see the kind of widespread outbreaks of zika here that we have seen in brazil or puerto rico. the kind of mosquito most likely to carry zika are limited to certain regions of our country, but we cannot be complacent. zika expect to see more cases. even though the symptoms for most people are mild, and many may never even know they have it, we have seen the complications for pregnant women and their babies can be severe. so again i want to encourage every american to learn what they can do to help stop zika by
going to cdc.gov. fighting the cookoff money. helping puerto rico deal with the zika crisis costs money. research into new vaccines. the first clinical trial in humans costs money. that is why we requested more funding back in february. not only did the republican-led congress not pass our request, they worked to cut it, and then they went for summer recess without passing any new funds for fighting against zika. meanwhile are experts at the nih and cdc have been doing their mess -- doing their best in making do with funds from other areas. now the money we need to fight zika is rapidly running out in the situation is getting critical. without sufficient funding, clinical trials and the
possibilities of a vaccine that is well within reach could be delayed. this is not the time for politics. more than 40 u.s. service members have now contracted zika in 50 u.s. states, we know of more than 1800 cases of zika. at nearly 500 pregnant women. so it is now president almost every part of puerto rico and now we have the first local transmission in florida, and there will certainly be more. meanwhile, congress is off on recess. preventingut threats, and this is a threat to babies right now. once again i want to urge the american people to call the members of congress and tell them to do their job, deal with this threat of protecting american people from zika. with that, i'm going to take some questions.
i will start with someone who just assumed the second most powerful office in the land, jeff mason. >> hardly powerful, and happy birthday. as islam and state loses territory, you and other officials have said is becoming a more traditional terrorist group. are you satisfied that the united states and its allies have shifted strategy sufficiently to address that change? and given your comments this week about donald trump and his lack of fitness to be president, are you concerned about him receiving briefings about isis? president obama: i'm never satisfied with our response because if you are satisfied, that means the problem is solved, and it's not.
we just had a couple of hours meeting with my national security oaks to look at what more can be done. it is absolutely necessary for us to defeat isil in iraq and syria. it is not sufficient, but it is necessary, because so long as they have those bases, they can use their propaganda to suggest that somehow there is still some caliphate eating born, and that can insinuate itself into the who may belks willing to travel there. it is also destabilizing for countries in the region at a time when the region is already unstable. i am pleased with the progress we have made in iraq and syria. mosul far from freeing but we have shown that when it
comes to conventional fights, isil can be beaten with partners on the ground, so long as they got the support from coalition forces that we have been providing. though, you are seeing isil carry out external terrorist acts, and they have learned something, they have hadted from al qaeda, which a much more centralized operation and tried to plan very elaborate attacks. what isil has figured out is that if they can convince a handful of people or even one person to carry out an attack on the subway or a parade or some other public venue and kill scores of people as opposed to thousands of people, it still creates the kinds of fear and concern that elevates their
profile. ways, rooting out these networks for smaller, less complicated attacks is tougher because it doesn't require as many resources on their part or preparation, but it does mean that we've got to do even more to generate the intelligence and to work with our partners in order to degrade those networks. the fact is that those networks will probably sustain themselves even after isil is defeated in .osul and raqqa what we've learned from our efforts to defeat al qaeda is that if we stay on it, our intelligence gets better, and we advance as well.
eventually we will dismantle these networks also. this is part of the reason why it is so important for us to keep our eye on the ball and not panic, not succumb to fear, because isil cannot defeat the united states of america or our nato partners. we can defeat ourselves, though, if we make bad decisions. we have to understand that as painful and tragic as these attacks are, that we are going to keep on grinding away, preventing them wherever we can, using the whole government effort to knock down there propaganda, to destruct their networks, to take their key operatives out of the battlefield, and eventually we will win.
but if we start making bad decisions, indiscriminately killing civilians, for example, in some of these areas, offensive religious tests on who can enter the country, those kinds of strategies can end up backfiring. because in order for us to ultimately win this fight, we cannot frame this as a clash of civilizations, between the west and islam. that place exactly into the hands of isil and the perversions -- perverse interpretations of islam that they are putting forward. trump, we are both to go by the law,
tradition and the law, that if someone is the nominee, the republican nominee for president, they need to get security briefings so that if they were to win, they are not starting from scratch in terms of being prepared for this office. detailsgoing to go into of the nature of those security briefings that both candidates receive. what i will say is that they have been told these are and if theyriefings want to be president, they got to start acting like a president. that means being able to receive these briefings and not spread them around. i think i said enough on that. >> what is your response to critics who say that 400 million dollars in cash that you sent to
iran was a ransom payment? or was it simply a coincidence that a payment that was held up for almost four decades is suddenly sent at the exact same time as the american prisoners were released? can you assure the american people that none of that money went to support terrorists? president obama: it has been interesting to watch this story surface. some of you may recall we announced his payments in january. many months ago. there was no secret, we announced them. to all of you. josh did a briefing on it. this was not some farias deal. time, we explained that iran had pressed a claim before an international tribunal about
money of theirs that we had consequence ofa its workings way through the international tribunal, it was the assessment of our lawyers that we were now to point where we could end up costing ourselves billions of dollars. it was their advice and suggestion, and that's what these payments represent. it wasn't a secret. we were completely open with everybody about it. it's interesting that it became a story again. point number two, we do not pay ransom for hostages. we've got a number of americans being held all around the globe. i meet with their families, and it is heartbreaking. have stood up an entire section of inter-agency experts who devote all their time to working with these families to
get these americans out. that wee families know have a policy that we don't pay ransom. the notion that we would somehow start now in this high profile way and announce it to the world, even as we are looking in the faces of other hostage families whose loved ones are being held hostage, and say to them that we don't pay ransom defies logic. that is point number two. we do not pay ransom. we did not hear and we will not in the future. if we did, weuse would start encouraging americans to be targeted, much in the way that some countries that do pay ransom in of having a lot more there citizens being taken by various groups. is that the three,
timing of this was in fact dictated by the fact that as a consequence of us negotiating around the nuclear deal, we actually had diplomatic negotiations and conversations with iran for the first time in several decades. the issue is not so much that it was a coincidence as it is that we were able to have a direct discussion. john kerry met with the foreign minister, which meant that our ability to clear accounts on a number of different issues at the same time converged. and it was important for us to take advantage of that opportunity, both to deal with the litigation risk that had been raised, and it was weortant for us to make sure finish the job on the iran nuclear deal and since we were in a conversation with them, it was important for us to be able get these americans out.
and let me make a final point on this. it has been well over a year iran toe agreement with stop its nuclear program was signed. workedaccounts, it has exactly the way we said it was going to work. you will recall that there were all these horror stories about how iran was going to cheat, it wasn't going to work, and iran would get $150 billion to finance terrorism and all these kinds of scenarios. and none of them have come to pass. it's not just the assessment of our intelligence community, it's the assessment of the israeli military, the country that was most opposed to this deal acknowledges this has been a
game changer and that iran has abided by the deal and they no short-term breakout capacity that would allow them to develop nuclear weapons. in, if i'm interested there is some news to be made, why not have some of these folks that were the victims of disaster say you know what, this actually worked. that would be a shock. that would be impressive. who havef these folks said the sky is falling suddenly said you know what, we were wrong and we are glad that i ran no longer has the capacity to break out in short-term and but of nuclear weapons, course that wasn't going to happen. instead, what we had was the manufacturing of a story that we
disclosed in january. the only bit of news that is relevant on this is the fact that we pay cash, which brings me to my last point. the reason that we had to give them cash is precisely because we are so strict in maintaining sanctions, and we do not have a banking relationship with iran that we cannot send them a check. we could not wire the money. it is not at all clear to me why it is that cash, as opposed to a check or a wire transfer, has made this into a news story. maybe because it kind of feels or somee spy novel crime novel, because cash was exchanged. the reason cash was exchanged is have a bankingt
relationship with iran, which is ,recisely part of the pressure so that we would -- they would ship a whole bunch of nuclear material out and close a bunch of facilities that you might wasmber a few years ago people's top fear and priority, that we make sure iran doesn't have nuclear capacity. they don't. this worked. >> repeatedly now donald trump has said that this election will be rigged against him, challenging the core foundation of our democratic system. can you promised the american people that this election will be conducted in a fair way, and are you worried that comments like his could erode the public's faith in the outcome of the election? win, as you have
declared him unfit, what will you say to the american people? president obama: at the end of the day, it's the american people's decision. i have the same hope that all the voters who are eligible across the country have, i've , but it isopinion the american people's decision to make collectively. someone wins the election and they are president, my constitutional responsibility is to peacefully transfer power to that individual and do everything i can to help them succeed. i don't even really know where to start on answering this question. of course the elections will not be rigged. government doesn't run the election process.
states and cities and communities all across the country, they are the ones who set of the voting systems and the voting booths, and if mr. trump is suggesting that there is a conspiracy theory that is being propagated across the country, including in places , where typically it's not democrats who are in charge of both -- voting booths, that doesn't make any sense. i don't think anybody would take that seriously. we do take seriously, as we always do, our responsibilities to monitor and preserve the integrity of the voting process. if we see signs that a voting machine or system is vulnerable to hacking, then we inform those local authorities who are
running the elections that they need to be careful. if we see jurisdictions that are violating federal laws, in terms , like providing ramps for disabled voters, or are discriminating in some , then it will come in and take care of that, but this will be an election like every other election. i think all of us at some point areur lives played sports played in the school yard or sandlot and some people start complaining they got cheated, but i never heard of somebody complained about being cheated before the game was over. or before the score is even
tallied. be, youggestion would know, go out there and try to win the election. is up 10 or 15 points on election day and ends up losing, maybe he can raise some questions. that doesn't seem to be the case at the moment. >> on the question of expansion that you been talking about, because you see them expanded around the world, and trying to inspire attacks, what is your current level of concern about the homeland? you talked about protection measures, but what is your assessment about the possibility , your own intelligence survivors -- advisors suggest about the isis threat to americans, and in a follow-up
along the same lines, what is your assessment today as you stand here about whether donald trump can be trusted with america's nuclear weapons? president obama: on your second question, and i will address this to any additional donald ask allestions, i would of you to just make your own judgment. i made this point already, multiple times. donald trumpo what has to say and make your own judgment with respect to how confident you feel about his .bility to manage as i recall, i just answered the question about this a couple of days ago and i thought i made myself pretty clear, and i don't want to just keep repeating it or a variation of it.
i obviously have a very strong the two candidates who are running. one is very positive, and one is not so much. here anyou will just further questions directed on the subject, i think you will hear pretty much variations on the same. what i can say is, this is , and the person who is in the oval office and our secretary of defense and joint chiefs of staff and our outstanding men and women in , they areport to counting on somebody who has the temperament and good judgment to be able to make decisions to keep america safe, and that
should be very much on the minds of voters when they go to the voting booth in november. isilrms of the threat that poses to the homeland, i think it is serious. we take it seriously, and as i said earlier, precisely because they are less concerned about 9/11 style attacks, because they've seen the attention you can get with smaller scale arms or using small assault rifles or in the case of possibilityuck, the celllone actor or a small carrying out an act that can kill people is real. that's why our intelligence and law enforcement and military
officials are working around the anticipatey to detain thettacks, to threats of people who might be bynerable to brainwashing isil. we are constrained here in the united states to carry out this work in a way that is consistent with our laws and presumptions of innocence, and the fact that we prevent a lot of these attacks as effectively as we do without a lot of fanfare is a testament to the incredible work that these folks are doing. they work really hard at it. but there is always a risk, and
some of you may have read the article in the new york times today -- i guess it came out the night online, about person in germany who had confessed and given himself up and explained his knowledge of works. isil network there was a paragraph in there that some may have called which we don't know for a fact that this is true, but according to this reporting, the individual indicated that isil recognizes it is harder to get operatives into the united states, but the fact that we have what you refer to as open gun laws means that anybody, as long as they don't have a criminal record, could go
in and buy weapons. that makes sort of a homegrown extremists brady attractive to them and those are hardest to stop because by definition, if someone doesn't have a record and does not trigger something, it means that anticipating their actions becomes that much more difficult. this is why the military strategy that we have in syria and iraq is necessary, but it is not sufficient. we have to do a better job of disrupting networks, and those networks are more active in europe than they are here, but we don't know what we don't know, so there are some networks here that could be activated. but we also have to get to the messaging that can reach a troubled individual over the internet, and do a better job of
this rafting that. what i have told my team is that , although we been working on this now for six or seven years, we've got to put more resources into it. this cannot be an afterthought. it's something we have to really focus on. this is also why how we work with the muslim american community, the values that we affirm about their patriotism and ourr sacrifice fellow feeling with them is so important. one of the reasons that we don't sells asorks and active here as they are in certain parts of europe is because the muslim american ismunity in this country extraordinarily patriotic, and largely successful.
they fighting our military and serve as our doctors and nurses and the communities in which they are raising their kids with love of country and a rejection of violence. that has to be affirmed. if we screw that up, were going to have bigger problems. yesterday you commuted the sentences of 214 federal inmates. it was the largest single grant of commie tatian's in the history of the american presidency. i want to ask you a couple of questions about it. you talk about this as low level drug offenders who got mandatory sentences. about a quarter of the connotations also had firearms offenses. given your overall philosophy on
firearms, can you reconcile that for us, and given that deviously in your presidency you sent a memo saying there was a sort of pre-decision at -- predisposition against firearms. greater more common tatian's in any president since calvin coolidge and fewer pardons than in -- more commutations. is the focus on commutations taking energy away from pardons? chances.about second finally, many of your predecessors in the final days of their presidency have reserved that for their more politically sensitive pardons. can we expect that from you? president obama: i appreciate the question because i haven't had a chance to talk about this much. it's an ever am really proud of. , shared byew
democrats and republicans alike asmany quarters that successful as we have been in reducing crime in this country, the extraordinary rate of incarceration of nonviolent offenders has created its own .et of problems entire communities have been ravaged. largely men, but some women are taken out of those communities, kids are now grown up without parents. it perpetuates a cycle of poverty and disorder in their lives. it is disproportionately young men of color that are being arrested at higher rate, charged and convicted at higher rate and
imprisoned for longer sentences. ultimately, the fix on this is criminal justice reform, and i still hold out hope that the bipartisan effort taking place in congress will finish the job and we can have a criminal justice system at the federal level that is both smart and effective on crime, but recognizes the need for proportionality in sentencing and the need to rehabilitate those who commit crimes. process of that slow criminal justice reform goes forward, what i want to see is it reinvigorates the commutation process that had become stalled over the course of several years
, partly because it is politically risky. you commute somebody and they commit a crime, the politics of it are tough. predecessors, and frankly a number of my advisors early in my presidency said be careful about it, but i thought it was important for us to send that we believe in the principles behind criminal justice reform, even if ultimately we need legislation. so we have focused more on commutations and we have on pardons. office, thei leave number of pardons we grant will be roughly in line with what other presidents have done, but commutationsor the
process has required a lot of effort and energy. and it's not like we have a whole slug of money to do it. the primary job of the justice department is to prevent crime and to convict those who have committed crimes and keep the american people safe. that means that you had this extraordinary herculean effort by a lot of people to go above and beyond what they're doing but also reviewed these petitions that have taken place. we have been able to get organizations around the country , and the main ifteria i've tried to set is under today's laws, because there have been changes in how we charge nonviolent drug
offenses, if under today's charges their senates would be substantially lower than the charges they received, if they got a life sentence but the u.s. attorney or justice department indicates that today they would be likely to get 20 years and they have already served 25, then what we try to do is screen through and find those who have paid their debt to society that had behaved themselves and tried to reform themselves while incarcerated and we think have a good chance of being able to use that second chance well. on the firearms issue, what i have done is to try to screen out folks who seem to have a propensity for violence. and these are just hypotheticals, but there may be
a situation where a kid at 18 was a member of a gang, had a in the, did not use it offense he was charged in, there is no evidence that he used it in any violent offense, it's still a firearms charge, but he didn't use it. anis now 20 years later, has on garnished prison record, has gone back to school, got his drughas on through treatment, has the support of the original judge that provided, the support of the u.s. attorney that charged him, as a family that loves him, in that situation the fact that 20 he had anier enhancement because he had a firearm is different than a hasation where somebody
engaged in armed robbery and shot somebody. in those cases that is still that i'm concerned about. our focus really has been on overcharged and people who we do not believe have a propensity toward violence. questionof your last pardons thatnute are granted, the process of it vary,ce is not going to depending on how close i get to the election. they will be reviewed by the pardon attorney and by white house counsel. as best as i can am going to
make these decisions based on merits as opposed to political considerations. finally, jim is retiring after 30 years with nbc. >> the president of the united states speaking live from the littlen, apparently a technical problem with the feed, but let's sum up what the president has been's eking about for the past nearly an hour. president and his national security team meeting today to discuss islamic state and what is and is not being done on that front. the president saying the high-stakes is working with other countries to share information to prevent attacks. he said it is difficult to cells fromg walls or carrying out attacks. the president saying the air campaign continues to strike
isil targets and america's armed forces are doing everything in their power to avoid civilian casualties. let's go back to that final question for the president at the pentagon. >> the military and intelligence agencies, have you come up with any new ideas? president obama: every time there is a terror attack, i feel disappointment, because i would like to prevent all of them. and that's true not just when the attacks are in europe or the united states. when you read stories about attacks in lebanon, iraq, or , distant parts of the world that don't get as much attention, they get my attention . that someone who is just going andt his business
mindlessly, senselessly, this person was murdered. so i have not gotten numb to it. it bugs me whenever and wherever it happens. and we are constantly pushing ourselves to see, are there additional ideas that we can facilitate to defeat this threat? it is important that we tacticze terrorism is a has been around for a long time. if you look at the 1970's or the 1980's are the 1990's, there was some terrorist activity somewhere in the world. as much as i would like to say
that during my eight year presidency we have eliminated , it's notcompletely surprising that that hasn't happened and i don't expect that will happen under the watch of my successors. i do think that because of our extraordinary efforts, the homeland is significantly safer than it otherwise would be. in some ways there is an argument that the attacks we prevent, i take great satisfaction in, and i'm grateful for the extraordinary work that our teams do. i don't think there is any doubt that had we not destroyed al -- more americans would have been killed and we might have seen more tax like we saw
on 9/11. we have maintained vigilance, recognizing that those threats still remain, those aspirations in the mind of the spokes still remain, but it is much harder for them to carry out large-scale attacks. thesee have seen is that lower-level attacks carried out by fewer operatives or an individual, with less sophisticated and less expensive weapons, can do real damage. that i think points to the need for us to not just have a military strategy, not just have a traditional counterterrorism strategy that's designed to bust up networks and catch folk before they carry out their attacks, although those still are necessary and we have to be
more and more sophisticated about how we carry those out, but it's important to have much greater cooperation with our partners around the world. it points to the fact that we're going to have to do a better job in draining the ideology that is behind these attacks. emanatingit is largely out of the middle east, and a very small fraction of the muslim world, a perversion of islam that has taken root and has been turbocharged over the internet. and that is appealing to folks who even don't necessarily know anything about islam and are not even practicing islam in any serious way, but have all kinds of psychosis and latch onto this
as some way of being important. and that is tougher because that involves both changes in geopolitics in places like syria and it requires cultural changes in regions like the middle east that go through generational changes and shifts as the old or collapses. it requires psychology and thinking about how these messages of hate reach individuals and are there ways in which we can intervene ahead of time. done, andork is being we got the very best people added. each day they are making a difference in saving lives, not just here, but around the world.
but it is a challenge, precisely if you're successful 99% of the time, that 1% can still mean heartbreak for families. and it is difficult because in a country let's say of 300 million people here in the united dates, are immune people from this hateful ideology but 1/10 of 1% are susceptible to it, that's a lot of dangerous people running around, and we cannot always anticipate them ahead of time because they may not have criminal records. so it is going to be a challenge. i just want to end on the point i made earlier. how we react to this is as important as the efforts we take to destroy isil and prevent
these networks from penetrating. you cannot separate those two things out. the reason it is called terrorism as opposed to just a standard war is that these are weak enemies that cannot match us in conventional power, but what they can do is make us scared. and when societies get scared, they can react in ways that undermine the fabric of our society. it makes us weaker and makes us more vulnerable and creates in ways that divide us that hurt us over the long term. so if we remain steady and but also and vigilant,
take the long view and maintain perspective and remind ourselves of who we are and what we care about most deeply and what we cherish, and what is good about and what is good about the international order and civilization was built in part because of the sacrifices of our men and women, after a 20th century full of world war -- if we remember that, then we are going to be ok. but we're still going to see episodically these kinds of tragedies, and we are going to have to keep working on it until we make things better. only because you are retiring but i hope it's not too late because i'm going to be late for my birthday dinner.
to thealluded earlier negotiations between the u.s. and russia over some military collaboration in syria some of the militant forces there. presumably in exchange for whatever russian influence could regime.ed on the assad i'm sure not surprised that some of the military are not supportive of that deal. some european allies think it would be a deal with the devil. what makes you so confident that you can trust the russians and latimer putin? testdent obama: we have to whether or not we can get actual cessation of hostilities ended that includes an into the kinds of aerial bombing and civilian death and destruction that we have seen carried out by the assad regime.
russia and not be able to get there because they don't have assad,ent influence over and that's what we're going to test. we go into this without any blinders on. we are very clear that russia has been willing to support a and anus regime individual who has destroyed his country just to cling on to power. with peaceful protest has led to a shattering of an entire, pretty advanced society. to brokerou're trying any kind of deal with an individual like that or a country like that, you've got to go in there with some skepticism. on the other hand, if we are able to get a genuine cessation of hostilities that prevents
indiscriminate bombing, that protects civilians and allows createsrian access and some sort of pathway to begin the hard work of political negotiations inside of syria, then we have to try, because the alternative is the perpetuation of civil war. i've been wrestling with this thing now for a lot of years. i'm pretty confident that a big chunk of my gray hair comes out syria. there is not a meeting that i don't end by saying, is there something else we could be doing ? h that we plan f, g,
think would lead to a resolution of this issue so that the syrian people can put their lives back together and we can bring peace and relieve the refugee crisis that has taken place? limited whenns are you have a civil war like this, when you have a ruler who doesn't care about his people, when you got terrorist organizations that are brutal and would impose their own kind people, andhip on you have a moderate opposition in ordinary civilians who are often outgunned and outmanned.
that is a very difficult situation to deal with, but we've got to give it a chance. there are going to be some bottom lines that we expect for us to cooperate with russia beyond what we're currently doing. that means restraint on the part of the regime that so far has not been forthcoming. version of thes cessation of hostilities would -- the violations of the cessation have grown to the point where it is barely addressed, particularly up in the northwestern part of the country. so we are going to test and see if we can get something that sticks. russia will have shown itself very clearly to be an irresponsible actor on the world stage and a supporter of a
, and will havee to answer to that on the international stage. thank you very much, everybody. mark: the president of the nine states on his 55th birthday, wrapping up a press conference at the pentagon. the president meeting earlier with members of his national security team, talking about what they have been doing, what more they could be doing in the battle against islamic state. the president saying two years ago isil was racing across iraq. they suffered big losses of territory including in syria. he continued, isaiah has not had a major offensive victory in over a year. he said isil turns out not to be invincible. said they will inevitably be defeated. the president of the united states live from the pentagon.
i'm mark crumpton at bloomberg world had orders in new york. we now join "with all due ," already in progress. ,> running a republican primary i don't think donald trump has understood this is very much a new elected. >> data speaks in politics. how low do donald trump's poll numbers have to get for asse to say this is a lost cause and we have to fend for ourselves? >> i would not look at national numbers, but what you see today is him falling behind in key states. colorado would give me a lot of concern. new hampshire would give me a lot of concern. the nationals duck, we love it, it's great, but it's the state stuff. i think of we saw a series of
rundown on the war against islamic state. at a news conference following the briefing, the president again warned the american public about what he considers the consequences of a donald trump presidency. has then survey presidents of approval rate at 54%, the highest it has been since just before his second inauguration in 2013. brazil's senate impeachment committee is recommending putting the president on trial for illegal financial transactions. the move paves the way for her permanent removal in a few months. the senate will now take up the matter. london's metropolitan police reports that the woman who died in last night's knife attack was an american. a 19-year-old nor me -- norwegian man with somali roots has been arrested. turkey's state-run news agency said a court has issued a formal w